IRONWOOD, Mich. (WLUC) - Since the beginning of the winter semester welding students at Gogebic Community College have been working in the school's new Skilled Trades Center.
"This project started back in 2018. In 2018 we were meeting with the advisory committee, and the advisory committee for our welding program had a concern that we needed to expand our operations to provide better services to our students," said Erik Guenard, Vice President of Business Services for Gogebic Community College.
Currently the welding program is the only program the college is using the new facility for.
"We also have additional space throughout the building for more programs that we haven't implemented yet. We're looking forward to being able to offer new programs and skilled trades in this building, and those programs will come online hopefully within the next couple of years," added Guenard.
The new facility gives students a better feel for what working conditions would be like when they graduate and join the work force.
"This facility was all infrastructure work, and part of the project, part of the contracting, part of the layout and design of the facility very much reflects a work setting similar to what you would see at any employer in the region," said Gary Gouin Welding Instructor for Gogebic Community College.
The new facility also gives the college the opportunity to teach more students.
"As far as enrollment numbers we have around a dozen students. There were years where we had a large enrollment, and with the advancement and the investment into this new facility, we are already seeing a 100% increase in enrollment for next fall," said Gouin.